“From the beginning of the Cooperative they gave the opportunity for women farmers to participate … and it’s important the cooperative gives due importance to the training and the representation role that they have here,” Dalinda Castillo, Women’s Committee President, Acropassi Cooperative de Servicios Multiples, Peru.
“In some cases, women by themselves are in charge of the family so despite coffee production being hard work, they are capable of doing it, they feel they can do it.
Coffee has led them to provide for their families and education for their children.”
The Cooperative of 505 small scale farmers, of which 68 are women, takes a holistic approach to sustainability in their community. Built on a respect for the natural environment, the Cooperative has worked to reduce their use of synthetic fertilisers and has achieved organic certification for much of their coffee.
Fairtrade certified since 2001, Acropassi has been a long-standing partner with Fairtrade and Grinders Coffee Roasters, cultivating more than 1,500 hectares of high quality coffee plantations located between 1,100 and 1,800 metres above sea level. Getting to Acropassi requires a commitment to long windeey and steep roads, that is reminiscent of a bygone time but the quality of the coffee, is second to none.
The training offered to farmers and their children enable the Cooperative to understand the latest agricultural management practices, and help the children who will run the business, to be confident to face any challenges in the future.
“Because there’s a lot of competition, and [our children] need to be prepared. Some of those challenges is the fact that there are new clients, with new requirements, new characteristics that are being looked for in the coffee. [Our children] have to adjust to [these needs]. That’s part of the reason why they are doing the training program.”